Navy officers should be held to a higher standard than other citizens, a rear admiral told Kansas University's Navy Reserve Officers Training Corps members Wednesday.
"We have the responsibility to be the best role models we can for our country," said Rear Adm. Lewis Felton, keynote speaker at KU's Navy ROTC awards ceremony.
"With the recent troubles we've had in the Navy, there are some people who ask whether we are being held to a higher standard," Felton said.
"I think they're absolutely right. I think we should be held to a higher standard. We must be the absolute finest citizens we can be."
The event marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of KU's Navy ROTC program. About 200 midshipmen, active and retired military officers and guests attended the event in Anschutz Sports Pavilion.
Felton, the Navy's deputy commander for engineering and chief engineer for the Naval Sea Systems Command, is a 1966 graduate of KU and its Navy ROTC program.
He said many of KU's graduating midshipmen, who will be commissioned as officers later this month, will have successful futures.
"There is no doubt that many in this group will achieve greatness," he said. "It's not a question of who but how many."
Wednesday's event also featured the presentation of awards to ROTC midshipmen and the battalion's change of command ceremony.
KU's Navy ROTC program was established July 1, 1946.